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I only see uses of capacitive sensor to detect touch. But I wonder if I can calibrate a capacitive sensor to detect if a person is close enough, even if the person is not touching it.

I intend to use it with a RFID tag or a BLE to send information if there is a person close to it.

Update with more details: I want solve the problem of determining, cheaply, if a person is sitting on a chair. I already asked a question about this problem here: Can I use a RFID reader to check if there is an physical obstacle between it and the tag? through a particular way of solving this problem. Now I am asking about another way of solving it. It is not relevant if I will use a RFID tag or not. I understand there are multiple ways to solve the final problem, but now I am interested in knowing especifically if I can use a capacitive sensor to detect a person proximity without touch.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why does the sensor need to be capacitive? Depending on the range and the environment there are plenty of solutions that might be better than capacitive sensing. Just add some informations about your application and you will receive the right answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Vladimir Cravero Aug 4 '14 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Vladimir Cravero. Are you trying to detect the person and the RFID tag separately, or are you trying to detect if the person is NEAR to the RFID device? Is this the same question as electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/123989/… \$\endgroup\$ – gbulmer Aug 4 '14 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ gbulmer, it is the same problem, but a different question. That question was about a particular way of solving the problem, this is other. I will update the question with more details. \$\endgroup\$ – soneca Aug 4 '14 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you somehow hack the chair? Does it have some holes? An IR sensor would work well. A capacitive might work too. I'll let the night give me some ideas. \$\endgroup\$ – Vladimir Cravero Aug 4 '14 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I can't hack the chair. And it should fit in any chair just by attaching the sensor on it (through some adhesive, I imagine). \$\endgroup\$ – soneca Aug 4 '14 at 22:09

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